Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: My Top 15 Science Fiction Covers
June 18, 2012 § 15 Comments
1. Harold Bruder’s cover for the 1967 edition of Pyschogeist (1966), L. P. Davies.
Because everyone loves lists…
…I’ve selected from my collection of cover art, placed in no particular order, my fifteen favorite science fiction covers of all time. Of course, lists being lists, and the fact that I’ve only seen a portion of all the covers ever made, it is incomplete and maleable. Although many of the most famous sci-fi artists (Powers, Lehr, and pulp masters such as Wesso) feature, some of my favorites are by lesser known artists whose visual contributions to the field should not be forgotten (Bruder, Podwil, Foster, Schongut, etc).
A few points to consider: 1) The artist rarely had control over the font. If the graphic designer responsible for putting together the final cover wasn’t up to snuff, the text often doesn’t mesh well with the artist’s canvas. 2) All my favorite covers are from before the mid-70s (computer generated images, the 80s visual aesthetics, etc tend not to appeal to my artistic sensibilities). 3) In the making of this list I considered ONLY the image, not the contents of the work or how the artist adequately or inadequately conveyed the feel/meaning/themes of the author’s work.
(as always, your lists are welcome — I look forward to reading them)
2. Jerome Podwil’s cover for the 1966 edition of The Players of Null-A (1966), A. E. van Vogt
3. Robert Foster’s cover for the 1969 edition of Turn Left at Thursday (1961), Frederik Pohl
4. Richard Powers’ cover for the 1961 edition of Turn Left at Thursday (1961), Frederik Pohl
5. Jerome Podwil’s cover for the 1970 edition of Recall Not Earth (1970), C. C. MacApp
6. Frank R. Paul’s cover for the October 1929 issue of Science Wonder Stories
7. Gaylord Welker’s cover for the December 1952 issue of Astounding Science Fiction
8. Walter Popp’s cover for the August 1952 issue of Fantastic Adventures
9. Emanuel Schongut’s cover for the 1966 edition of Watchers of the Dark (1966), Lloyd Biggle, Jr
10. Karel Thole’s cover for the 1973 edition (?) of The Mind Thing (1960), Frederik Brown
11. Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition of Conquerors from the Darkness (1965), Robert Silverberg
12. Mitchell Hooks’ cover for the 1958 edition of The Big Eye (1949), Max Ehrlich
13. Ken Freeman’s cover for the 1965 edition of Far Boundaries (1951), ed. August Derleth)
14. Richard Powers’ cover for the 1954 edition of Costigan’s Needle (1953), Jerry Sohl
15. H. W. Wesso’s cover for the 1938 issue of Astounding Science Fiction
For similar posts, consult the INDEX